Tuesday, February 19, 2013

5 Things about the week meaning the World is in Deep Trouble

We had a workday on Monday and although poorly timed it was well needed.  I had my daughter with me and some of my co-workers pressed for childcare also had kids in tow.  It turned out to be a mildly productive day.  During the course of the day the TUs conversation turned towards troubling signs.  Bad things abound. 
What better way to alleviate that anxiety than to share the cause for concern with our reader...I mean readers.  Hopefully a little humor will break the tension.

#1 That Russian Meteor-
Are you kidding me?  Nothing was funny about that incident and the people who were hurt but what's worse is apparently no one among all those math and science folks, who were focused on approaching asteroid due a day later,  even knew it was coming.  Can you imagine if that meteor hit near Moscow or New York about 20 years ago?  It'd be The Day After,  Walking Dead and Dr. Strangelove all rolled into one. I guess Bruce Willis was too busy making Die Hard sequels to head up into space, drill a hole and blast that rock in a different direction.   I don't wear a diaper but if stuff liked this happened more often, I might start.

I am left wondering after Neil DeGrasse Tyson told us we don't have a plan and he wished NASA or someone had a plan for deflecting them.  Great!?  Anytime you get to talking about NDGT you have send a shout out to Carl Sagan.

  And how come everyone in Russia has dashboard cam?  But they do have the best Youtube videos.

#2 Harlem Shake
Speaking of Youtube videos, this Harlem Shake  thing is out control.  In a bad way.  It's like that Friday song, Call Me Maybe, Psy all mashed together and sung by different people.  Even the TU has been guilty of jumping on the bandwagon.  We just enough self respect not to share or post it.  What's wrong with you people?  I am just glad this stuff didn't occur when I was in college.  It's just a matter of time before someone takes to the next level.  What does that mean?  I have no idea.  But other than the previous link you simply cannot top the one under water or this.  Nor should  we try.  I tried to explain the phenomenon to someone who didn't get it only to realize halfway through my explanation,  there is no "it."  It is just dumb.  The only thing dumber is the fact that 3 colleagues today commented to me "Harlem Shake, what's that?"  What do you say to that? 

 #3 Blackboard Wars
For the record if questioned publicly or in the presence of anyone I respect I will deny it,  but I watched a show on the Oprah Winfrey Network.  The series is called Blackboard Wars and it concerns John McDonogh High in New Orleans that becomes a charter school and the principal tasked with turning it around.  I'm not a huge fan of Docu-Series,  reality TV, Oprah, school take overs or motivations of those filming real people's lives but I was interested.    It is a jarring look at some of the nation's most difficult educational issues.  In one scene the principal deals with an angry student and comments to the security guard on the way to the office something to the effect of  "throw him out of here if he...(edited)"  Such an either or scenario would never fly in a regular school and looks past the fact that that kid will just end up somewhere else.  Public schools might be able to move that student but must still devote a great deal of resources somewhere in the system to educate them, as they should.  There is a boundary though and enough is enough when other kids are affected.  We must deal with reality.  And on occasion working to save every child can adversely affect some others. Jay Mathews said something about it the other day.   "Why are traditional public schools forced to keep dangerousand disruptive students who make it difficult for other students to learn?"

Later a community member confronts the principal expressing distrust about a California charter company coming in a taking over.  The principal responds with a comment that includes mention of test scores.  Really?  Not that he isn't well intentioned(he is) and isn't on track with what the school has failed to do for scores of students.  But it also misses the point.  The field is not level and charter schools might be part of the answer but they are not the answer.  But again I am not admitting I watched the whole show or even get that network.  You say it, Ill deny it.

#4 Mmmm...What?
On Thursday last week classrooms were visited by signing Valentines as has been tradition the past 30 or so years.  Not a great day to teach per se but you deal.  Raises a lot of money and as you might expect sometimes there are a few complications.  Students in my room were well behaved.  I asked several times if students knew certain songs based on the lyrics.  Thought then I'd challenge them and I hit them with"
"You have so many relationships in this life
Only one or two will last
You go through all the pain and strife
Then you turn your back and they're gone so fast"

 Give Up?  Its Hanson.  You know MMM Bop...Yeah that song.  Sad part was when I told my class of ninth graders,  not a one knew what song I was referencing.  WHAT?  A quick Google search revealed that was a 1997 hit and they were not born yet.  Am I old?  Yes.  Yes I am. My cultural references may be out of date.  A troubling sign.
This version might even be a bit better than the original. 


#5 It was just a Tough Week?
Then there is all of this.
The Pope
North Korea
 It's not really President's Day?

Guess it could be worse.  I could have been the cruise director aboard the Carvnival Triumph.  Sheesh.  So in the meantime let's all agree to simply focus on the task at hand and like we do every single day, just keep doing our best.

Oh well.  Hope this week holds better.  Let's Meet it head on..."Leeeerooooooy Jenkins!"   (You might have to look that cultural reference up)

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